Awesome Tips About Language and Translation From 8 Unlikely Sources

Awesome Tips About Language and Translation from 8 Unlikely Sources


“Don’t Insist on English” Patricia Ryan

Sometimes you find tips about our industry in the unlikeliest of places. Although TED talks are highly recognized and are a great source of information and insight, not too many of them focus on  translation or the language industry per se.  In the following  lecture, Patricia Ryan discusses language loss and the globalization of English. Because of globalization and economy, English has been  the most preferred and spoken language for business around the world, and because of this cultural globalization and language education, we may be contributing to language loss and the diffusion of new ideas. Focusing solely on English, she argues, we are diminishing the importance of other languages and the importance of  contributions other cultures have to offer.




Who’s ‘They’?- by Amanda Hess

Language is continuously changing and evolving. In the following article, the author discusses the use of  the pronoun “they” as an inclusive gender pronoun for the transgender and LGBT community.   The “they” or “we” as gender pronouns give more ambiguity and a more gender neutral quality to speech that results in a more inclusive and accepting reference.  It also avoids a static role to the person that otherwise does not or cannot relate to their gender identity. On this vein, the author refers to  a study that has  found that when there is a distinction between “he” and “she”,  behavioral patterns change even among children when referred to  as “boys”and “girls” reinforcing  the behavioral  stereotypes that both these pronouns have. Clearly when there was no distinction and a more inclusive reference was made, people were free to make their own. Although “they” is becoming the more accepted form of speech as a gender neutral pronoun,  it is  ultimately up to the person to tell you how they want to be addressed.


Management of substance abuse

Process of translation and adaptation of instruments


Because medical journals  are the result  of long medical research studies or  written reports of a behavioral analysis over time, precision and accuracy are important to the  end result. For this reason,  the use of forward and back translation  is the appropriate and standard method to assure the accuracy and quality of the project.  In the complete article, the forward translation should be not translated literally. Writing should be simple and to the point and should be understood by the reader with ease. On the other hand, the back translation should be done by an expert in the field (or a  panel of experts) to establish accuracy and expertise. Again, most of these medical journals are  the result long medical research studies  and the end result needs to reflect that.


Does the language you speak influence how you save?

Does the language you speak  influence how you save? The following video discusses how language and thought affect behavior. For example, a “future” language versus “a “futureless” where grammatically they are forced to differentiate between the present and future, demonstrate behavior as a result of language structure and thought. A language was said to be the expression of thought then behavior. However, by analyzing these futureless and future languages our behavior is influenced by the language we speak.





How to Get the Most out of These Essential Grammar Check Extensions for Chrome

 Written by Sandy Stachowiak

This website mostly known for analyzing and comparing computer application software and smartphone apps, offered  useful information  on grammar extension apps for Chrome that will help you improve and correct writing or translation as you type. I particularly use Grammarly for Firefox and frankly I find it indispensable. There is nothing more embarrassing and infuriating than clicking the “submit” or “send” button on an email or blog and see misspellings or typos on your message.



Translation as language preservation: Why a Kazakh journalist is translating TED Talks

Posted by: Krystian Aparta

Although I Included this website already, this article actually continues the discussion on the same idea. Here though using the TED translation platform for the preservation of an endangered language. Although the post is a bit dated (2014), I found it relevant to the discussion  to Patricia Ryan’s lecture . As the first video demonstrates, languages are disappearing quite rapidly, so using this platform to maintain or preserve a language is good recourse. On a personal note, when I started in translation some years ago, I participated (on a voluntary basis) in TED translation project doing subtitles into Spanish. I have to say it was one of the most rewarding experiences, yet as I became more involved in translation and writing, it became too difficult to continue. I still get email from them, so you see that the need is great.



9 Little Translation Mistakes That Caused Big Problems

by Arika Okrent

Surprisingly, this online magazine mostly known for its off the wall  and offbeat stories, does have some interesting articles on language. (They do have a linguist as a contributing author). I found this one particularly relevant because we all have come across bad translations but these companies have paid a dear price for these mistakes. the following article is related to the mistranslations in company’s marketing campaigns  and misinterpretation in the healthcare field that have caused  the disability of a patient.



Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE)-

Jay Rosen on the Importance of Accurate Translations [Podcast]


In the following podcast Jay Rosen, Vice President, Legal & Corporate Language Solutions for Merrill Corporation discusses the importance of accurate translations in the legal field and how the translator has to have a thorough background not only on the field but with a thorough linguistic background as well.



And there you have it. For the exception of TED, I must say that the rest of the sources were a bit of a surprise for me.Although I do read them all for different purposes,  in finding information about our profession or linked to it in any way was pretty surprising.  I hope you enjoyed the post and would love to read your input.


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